Top LPN Programs in Wisconsin

Last Updated/Verified: June 28, 2021

Wisconsin boasts cities that rank as some of the best places to live. The state also has a high demand for licensed nurses in a wide range of areas. Prospective students interested in a career in nursing will find many LPN certificate programs and degrees. Once licensed, graduates can be employed as licensed nurses in area hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities.

LPN’s in Wisconsin Quick Facts

Whether nursing schools, technical colleges, or universities, students will find many options to choose for accredited nursing programs and employment. Of all the cities in Wisconsin, students and nurses may find the most opportunities in Milwaukee and Madison

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Overview of LPN Schools in Wisconsin

Wisconsin state has more than 40 board-approved schools offering nursing programs. It can be a challenge for potential LPN students to choose. All accredited schools provide a curriculum that includes text-based learning plus labs and clinical studies. It is up to the student to decide on what is best in terms of location, fees, length of the program, and other factors.

LPN programs cover the following topics:

  • Nursing ethics
  • Science
  • Patient care
  • Nursing skills
  • Infection control
  • Additional specialist courses like long-term care, surgical, and IV therapy

Accreditation

When considering an LPN program, prospective students must ensure that it is accredited, whether regionally by the Higher Learning Commission (HCL), nationally by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), or both. In Wisconsin, nursing students should attend courses that are approved by the Wisconsin Board of Nursing.

LPN Admissions Requirements

LPN admission requirements in Wisconsin vary from program to program. Potential students must contact individual schools to verify the enrollment details. Most programs require a minimum of the following:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • High school diploma, GED, or equivalent
  • Completion of prerequisite courses
  • “C” average GPA
  • Proficient score on TEAS aptitude exam
  • Complete a criminal background check
  • Pass a drug screening test

Tuition & Costs

Prospective nursing students will find that tuition, and fees will vary from school to school. In Wisconsin, tuition is fairly low-cost and consistent among most schools offering nursing programs. Most schools offered tuition that is about $140/credit hour. Fox Valley Technical College charges $158/credit hour in tuition. In any case, most programs also offer options for grants, scholarships, student loans, and other financial aid.

LPN Licensing Requirements in Wisconsin

Wisconsin offers career pathways that are fast for students desiring to work as a nurse. Earning an LPN degree takes about one year as a full-time student or a little longer if part-time student. Graduates can immediately apply for licensure once they’ve met all requirements.

Checklist to become a Wisconsin LPN:

  1. Earn your LPN Diploma from a board-approved school
  2. Apply for licensure with the Wisconsin Board of Nursing
  3. Pass the NCLEX-PN exam

Wisconsin-licensed Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses are required to renew their licenses every two years. Nursing does not require contact hours for renewal.

NCLEX-PN Exam

Graduates of an LPN course who are applying for licensure in Wisconsin must pass the NCLEX-PN exam. This exam is administered by the National Council Licensure Examination and covers five main categories including safe and effective care environment, safety and infection control, psychosocial integrity, and physiological integrity. A passing grade is required for all new nurses to get a license.

LPN Reciprocity

LPNs entering Wisconsin from other states can become licensed through endorsement. Candidates must show proof of licensing in another state. Individuals entering Wisconsin from outside the US must complete the Commission of Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) evaluation before taking the licensure exam.

LPN Salaries in Wisconsin

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) in Wisconsin rake in an average annual income of $49,888, which is slightly higher than the national average of $48,820. Wisconsin LPNs typically make an average of $8,171 in overtime per year.

Here are the average salaries of LPNs in Wisconsin’s major metropolitan areas according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):

  • Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Ellis: $52,200
  • Madison: $48,400
  • Green Bay: $43,270
  • Appleton: $50,240
  • Racine: $48,610

Source: https://www.bls.gov/

Nursing salaries throughout Wisconsin are fairly consistent. Wages will vary depending on a nurse’s education and experience. In addition, some specialty fields will bring in higher earnings. This may apply to LPNs and RNs working in medical, surgical, neonatal, and similar specialties.

Job Outlook for LPNs in Wisconsin

Nursing jobs in Wisconsin and throughout the U.S. have been on the rise. There are more jobs than nurses, so the demand is very high. Graduates of practical nursing programs should find an abundance of training and employment opportunities. Also, prospective nurses might consider looking into healthcare fields that cater to the U.S. population’s increasing lifespan such as long-term care and gerontology.

In the U.S., the job outlook for Licensed Practical Nurses and Licensed Vocational Nurses is estimated to increase by 9% by 2029. Wisconsin currently has 8,050 licensed LPNs with a location quotient of 0.61, which is lower than the national average for employment distribution. In Wisconsin, employment for LPNs is projected to grow by 4.6% from 2014 to 2024.

Top LPN Schools in Wisconsin

Lakeshore Technical College

1290 North Ave
Cleveland, WI 53015
920-693-1000

Enrolling in the Nursing Associate Degree at Lakeshore Technical College is a great way to pursue a nursing career. Students complete 65 credit hours over 7 terms, after which they can sit for the licensing exam. This college focuses on holistic approaches in healthcare. It is accredited by the ACEN and has a 100% pass rate on the CLEX exam.

Southwest Wisconsin Technical College

1800 Bronson Blvd
Fennimore, WI 53809
608-822-3262

This Wisconsin technical college has an Associates Nursing Program as well as an LPN track. Students can complete courses online and on-campus during days, evenings, and weekends. After successful completion of 70 credit hours, graduates are well-equipped for careers as a licensed nurse. Southwest Wisconsin Technical College is accredited by the ACEN with a CLEX pass rate of 100%.

Fox Valley Technical College

1825 N Bluemound Dr
Appleton, WI 54912
920-735-5600

The Practical Nurse Program at this technical college takes only 30 credits to complete. Graduates receive a Technical Diploma (TD) and are eligible to take the NCLEX-PN exam. The school has received a 100% pass rate. This program is a fast way to becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). All programs are ACEN-accredited.

Moraine Park Technical College

235 N National Av
Fond du Lac, WI 54935
800-472-4554

This college permits an exit option for students in the Associate of Applied Science Degree Nursing Program. After students complete the first two semesters of the program, they meet the requirements to take the LPN exam. Those who decide to complete the 2-year program can become an RN as well. Moraine Park is accredited by the ACEN.

Blackhawk Technical College

6004 S County Road G
Janesville, WI 53546
608-758-6900

Blackhawk Technical College offers an Associate Degree in Nursing. Students have the option of taking classes online or in person. The program requires 65 credits to complete and is ACEN-accredited. In 2019, BTC was awarded as the number one nursing program in Wisconsin.

Mid-State Technical College

2600 W 5th St
Marshfield, WI 54449
715-387-2538

An Associate in Applied Science (AAS) at this college prepares students for careers in nursing. After the first year, prospective LPNs become eligible to take the CLEX-PN exam. The program requires 65 credits to complete and is accredited by the ACEN.

Northcentral Technical College

1000 W Campus Dr
Wausau, WI 54401
715-675-3331

Northcentral has a competitive admission process but no waitlist for its nursing program. Students can attend courses online or at any of their six campuses depending on availability. Program offerings can be completed part-time or full-time. Graduates receive a Nursing Associate Degree after the completion of 71 credits. The college is ACEN-accredited.

Nicolet Area Technical College

5364 College Dr
Rhinelander, WI 54501
715-365-4493

Nicolet Area Technical College helps students become nurses through their ACEN-accredited Associates of Applied Science Degree Program. The program requires 65 credit hours, which can be completed over four terms either online or on campus. Graduates are eligible to take the licensing exams for nursing.

Gateway Technical College

3520 – 30th Avenue
Kenosha, WI 53144
800-247-7122

Future nurses can get a head start on their career in Gateway’s Nursing Associate Degree Program. The coursework is designed for students intending to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). The ACEN-accredited program can be completed in 66 credit hours at their three campus locations.

Waukesha County Technical College

800 Main Street
Pewaukee, WI 53072
262-691-5566

Waukesha County Technical College offers a 65-credit Associate of Applied Science Degree Program. This ACEN-accredited nursing program takes a little over two years to complete. Graduates can apply for licensure and take the exam to become employed as RN. Those looking to work as an LPN while continuing their nursing education can apply for licensure after completing the fourth term.

Additional Resources

Following are useful resources for prospective nursing students in Wisconsin:

Wisconsin Board of Nursing

4822 Madison Yards Way
Madison, WI 53705
608-266-2112

The Wisconsin Board of Nursing is part of the State of Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing and Wisconsin Department of Safety. The board is responsible for ensuring the competency of licensed nurses throughout Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Nurse Association (WNA)

2820 Walton Commons Ln
Madison, WI 53718
608-221-0383
The WNA represents all nurses working in the state of Wisconsin. The association fosters high standards related to the nursing practice, working environment, and health issues.